From the Publisher: From original beachcomber personalities like the Waikiki Beachboys to the rise of Venice Beach as a creative center for music, art, and film, this insightful chronicle traces the roots of the surf boom and explores its connection to the Beat Generation and 1960s pop culture. Through accounts of key figures both obscure and popular, such as Mike Dormer, Rick Griffin, the Trashwomen, and the Beach Boys, the book illustrates why surf culture is a vital art movement of the 20th century. The entire spectrum of pop culture is covered, including discussions of the advent of surf magazines and the immense popularity of the "beach" movies starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.
The image of surfing is everywhere in American popular culture – films, novels, television shows, magazines, newspaper articles, music, and especially advertisements. In this book, Kristin Lawler examines the surfer, one of the most significant and enduring archetypes in American popular culture, from its roots in ancient Hawaii, to Waikiki beach at the dawn of the twentieth century, continuing through Depression-era California, cresting during the early sixties, persistently present over the next three decades, and now, more globally popular than ever. Throughout, Lawler sets the image of the surfer against the backdrop of the negative reactions to it by those groups responsible for enforcing the Puritan discipline – pro-work, anti-spontaneity – on which capital depends and thereby offers a fresh take on contemporary discussions of the relationship between commercial culture and counterculture, and between counterculture and capitalism.
Surfing has fascinated filmmakers since Thomas Edison shot footage of Waikiki beachboys in 1906. Before the 1950s surf craze, surfing showed up in travelogues or as exotic background for studio features. The arrival of Gidget (1959) on the big screen swept the sport into popular culture, but surfer-filmmakers were already featuring the day’s best surfers in self-narrated two-reelers. Hollywood and independent filmmakers have produced about three dozen surf films in the last half-century, including the frothy Beach Party movies, Point Break (1991) and Chasing Mavericks (2012). From Bud Browne’s earliest efforts to The Endless Summer (1966), Riding Giants (2004) and today’s brilliant videos, over 1,000 surfing movies have celebrated the stoke. This first full-length study of surf movies gives critical attention to hundreds of the most important films.
Ethno-aesthetics of Surf in Florida discusses surf and music as glocal sociocultural constructs. Focusing on Florida's unexplored surfing culture, the book illustrates how musical experience begets representations about the world that highlight ways of acting and being of various sociocultural communities. Based on the conceptualization of ethno-aesthetics, this ethnographic study provides an analysis of the Space Coast surfers community's collaborative effort to build social cohesion through their musicking. This transdisciplinary research in American Studies draws upon various theoretical perspectives from both the humanities and social sciences, including ethnomusicology, social psychology, and sociolinguistics, to propose new ways of exploring the links between surfing and musicking. This monograph looks past the myth of iconic 1960s Californian surf music to show how, as a result of the glocalization of surfing, the musicking of Floridian surfers has allowed them to express their subjectivities and to make sense of their world. This book contributes to the debate on the disputed notions of identity and representations by establishing connections between a local expression of the surf lifestyle and its music. It proposes theoretical models that explain cultural hybridization, appropriation, and belonging in surfing. It also develops concepts and notions, such as surfanization, surf strand, lifestyle crossover, and identity marking, to illustrate how global practices, such as surfing, are endowed with various modes of expression exemplified by the emergence of unique regional subcultures of surfing.
Popular Modernism and Its Legacies reconfigures modernist studies to investigate how modernist concepts, figures, and aesthetics continue to play essential--though often undetected--roles across an array of contemporary works, genres, and mediums. Featuring both established and emerging scholars, each of the book's three sections offers a distinct perspective on popular modernism. The first section considers popular modernism in periods historically associated with the movement, discovering hidden connections between traditional forms of modernist literature and popular culture. The second section traces modernist genealogies from the past to the contemporary era, ultimately revealing that immensely popular contemporary works, artists, and genres continue to engage and thereby renew modernist aesthetics and values. The final section moves into the 21st century, discovering how popular works invoke modernist techniques, texts, and artists to explore social and existential quandaries in the contemporary world. Concluding with an afterword from noted scholar Faye Hammill, Popular Modernism and Its Legacies reshapes the study of modernism and provides new perspectives on important works at the center of our cultural imagination.
Jan Berry, leader of the music duo Jan & Dean from the late 1950s to mid-1960s, was an intense character who experienced more in his first 25 years than many do in a lifetime. As an architect of the West Coast sound, he was one of rock 'n' roll's original rebels--brilliant, charismatic, reckless, and flawed. As a songwriter, music arranger, and record producer for Nevin-Kirshner Associates and Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Berry was one of the pioneering self-produced artists of his era in Hollywood. He lived a dual life, reaching the top of the charts with Jan & Dean while transitioning from college student to medical student, until an automobile accident in 1966 changed his trajectory forever. Suffering from brain damage and partial paralysis, Jan spent the rest of his life trying to come back from Dead Man's Curve. His story is told here in-depth for the first time, based on extensive primary source documentation and supplemented by the stories and memories of Jan's family members, friends, music industry colleagues, and contemporaries. From the birth of rock to the bitter end, Berry's life story is thrilling, humorous, unsettling, and disturbing, yet ultimately uplifting.
Jan & Dean were among the most successful artists of the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, with hits including "Baby Talk," "Surf City," "Dead Man's Curve" and "The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)." Slapstick humor and offbeat personas were a big part of their shtick, but Jan Berry was serious when it came to the studio. This book chronicles Jan's career as a songwriter and arranger--and his tenure as producer for Jan & Dean and other acts--with day-by-day entries detailing recording sessions, single and album releases, concerts and appearances, film and television projects, behind-the-scenes business and legal matters, chart positions and more. Extensive commentary from Berry's family, friends and colleagues is included. Studio invoices, contract details, tape box notes, copyright information and other particulars shed light on how music was made in the Hollywood studio system of the 1960s.
They were almost The Pendletones--after the Pendleton wool shirts favored on chilly nights at the beach--then The Surfers, before being named The Beach Boys. But what separated them from every other teenage garage band with no musical training? They had raw talent, persistence and a wellspring of creativity that launched them on a legendary career now in its sixth decade. Following the musical vision of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys blended ethereal vocal harmonies, searing electric guitars and lush arrangements into one of the most distinctive sounds in the history of popular music. Drawing on original interviews and newly uncovered documents, this book untangles the band's convoluted early history and tells the story of how five boys from California formed America's greatest rock 'n' roll band.
The Third Tower Up from the Road is a humorous and entertaining collection of travel essays made up of old favorites as well as new commentaries from Kevin Dolgin’s popular McSweeney’s Internet Tendency column, Kevin Dolgin Tells You About Places You Should Go. The work celebrates the distinctive qualities of locales the world over, and each globetrotting essay focuses on a specific place, capturing the flavors and cultures through individual observations and exceptional experiences. Funny, irreverent, and insightful, these writings eschew the bland, touristy veneer experienced by most travelers as they seek to discover what is special and unique about each destination. Covering a wide range of places and interests, from unusual experiences and humorous traveler’s foibles to voyages that are intensely personal and moving, the selected columns include "The Best Falafel in the World: Beirut, Lebanon," "The Door to Hell: Paris, France," "Kafka’s Erotic Dream: Prague, Czech Republic," "The Nesting Habits of Roman Cars: Rome, Italy," "Of Romans and Pussycats: Provence, France," and "The Third Tower Up from the Road: Huanghuacheng, China." Also featured is "The Corsican Swallowtail: Corsica, France," which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
The Beach Boys are one of rock's most enduring and enigmatic groups, and while the band has been the subject of numerous biographies and other in-depth studies, there has been no focused evaluation of the religious and spiritual themes in their work. Spiritual and theological themes are present in much of their work, and when this realization is coupled with Brian Wilson's mission "to spread the gospel of love through records," and his sense of music as spiritual--of thinking "pop music is going to be spiritual . . . that's the direction I want to go"--this is a striking way to explore the band's music. In God Only Knows, the contributors attempt to come to grips with just a small amount of this band's massive output--by circling around its theological virtues. Each section of the book is a loose investigation of the guiding topics of faith, hope, and love. Each essay is a free exploration of theological and spiritual themes from the contributor's own perspectives.